In 2010, I met a young lady named Priya (not her real name).  An older girl of probably 14, she had recently joined the other girls at KGBV from circumstances unknown to me.  However, her shy and withdrawn demeanor suggested that her situation could not have been happy.  She kept to herself for most of my time there, sitting or sleeping on her bed.  Priya joined one, maybe two, karate classes, but otherwise kept to herself, rarely smiling.  Even when she did smile, it looked as if it required great effort.

In 2012, Priya is almost unrecognizable as an extroverted young woman.  Her smile is easy, as is her laughter, and she engages with other girls effortlessly and confidently.  She is a member of KGBV’s competition karate team, and in the classes she has taken this time with me, she exhibits very good technique and a great deal of power.  The girl has brains, too: Priya  is second in her school class.

Priya’s transformation was possible by the excellent and caring KGBV staff.  It is an honor and a privilege for me to come to this place and give even a small amount of support and attention to these girls, but my respect goes to the house mothers of KGBV – Sharda, Sanju, Pinky, Reetu, Sabira, and Manju – who day-in and day-out take care and attend to the sometimes daunting needs of these girls.  Hats off to you, my dear hard working ladies!

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